Facts about New Year’s resolutions

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Just as certain as the ball dropping in the middle of Times Square at the stroke of midnight at the start of the New Year, many Americans kicked off the beginning of 2016 with a promise to improve themselves over the next 12 months.

A tradition as synonymous with the holiday as feasting, drinking and college football, the creation of a New Year’s Resolution is a noble endeavor that millions undertake in first days of January. Be it a promise to shed some of the pounds gained from partaking in holiday feasts to a goal to finally kick a particular bad habit, the New Year serves as an impetus for many to make some major change in their life.

In spite of the enthusiasm that many display in the first few weeks into their resolution, numbers show that most wind up achieving either modest or no success at all with their goal by the end of year.

For those who are still wrestling with the idea of coming up with a New Year’s Resolution or who haven’t settled on a particular goal yet, here are the 10 most popular resolutions people created last year, based on a study conducted by the University of Scranton and published by the Statistic Brain Research Institute:

1. Lose weight

2. Getting organized

3. Spend less, save more

4. Enjoy life to the fullest

5. Staying fit and healthy

6. Learn something exciting

7. Quit smoking

8. Help others in their dreams

9. Fall in love

10. Spend more time with family

For those in need of “encouragement,” here are some additional figures the study found about people who make and follow resolutions:

• Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution — 8 percent

• Percent who have infrequent success — 49 percent

• Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year — 24 percent

• Resolution maintained through first week — 75 percent

• Past two weeks — 71 percent

• Past one month — 64 percent

• Past six months — 46 percent

• Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year — 39 percent

• Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year — 14 percent

Regardless of whether you have made a resolution for this year or just intend to go with the flow, we wish you luck in the year ahead.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.